You can claim land for your base on Arrakis in survival MMO Dune: Awakening, but you’ll have to pay the Emperor for it

Since its reveal back in 2022, we’ve gradually been learning more about Dune: Awakening, Funcom’s upcoming survival MMO set on a “vast and seamless Arrakis.” Along with a new gameplay trailer released today that you can watch above, PC Gamer editor Wes Fenlon got the chance to chat with Funcom’s Joel Bylos, the MMO’s creative director, about some of the finer details, like Dune: Awakening’s base-building.

As the trailer shows, players start out as newcomers hoping to survive and profit on the valuable but dangerous spice planet. After narrowly escaping from a hungry sandworm, the next step is mining some resources, staking a claim, and building a base on Arrakis. Bylos told Wes more about how that all works, and like a lot of elements of the survival MMO, it uses Dune lore as a starting point.

In Dune’s fiction, Bylos says, “It’s an imperial fief. Arrakis is a fief, and then players have this thing they can craft called a sub-fief console, which allows them to claim a small piece of Arrakis. And then they have to pay tax to the Emperor for having that small piece.”

Some of the base-building concepts in Dune: Awakening come from another Funcom survival game: Conan Exiles. In Dune, players will start small, as the trailer shows, and build a humble living area, add furniture, place wind turbines to power the place, and use fuel to power shields that protect your home from sandstorms. 

“We have different crafting machines, they’re called fabricators in the game,” Bylos says. “You start out with a general purpose fabricator, but then you build vehicle fabricators, and it becomes more like the workbench specialization that you have in Conan [Exiles].” 

Players won’t be restricted to just that initial small claim: they’ll eventually be able to increase the size of their property on Dune: “You place [the sub-fief console and] it basically gives you an area that you can build within,” Bylos says. “And then you can extend the area you can build within using, they’re called ‘staking rods’ at the moment.”

Not only do those staking rods cost you money, Bylos says, but you’ll also owe more to the Emperor when you use them to increase the size and scope of your sub-fief. “You can build outwards to get a fairly large space,” he says, “but you have to pay for it. And then it has maintenance costs.”

In addition to building a permanent base in a safe area of the world, a system in Dune: Awakening will let them make a copy of that base as a blueprint, and rebuild it in the ‘deep desert,’ a much more dangerous area of the planet where powerful storms wipe everything out once a week. 

Dune: Awakening”

“What I’m expecting is that players build, they use the blueprint system to [make] a copy of their buildings, they take them out with them, they set up logistics bases in the deep desert with the knowledge that those things are gonna get wiped every week,” Bylos says. “They have their home. They keep that decorated, they keep it nice, but they’re continually going out to compete with other people over the big spice blows in the deep desert and compete for the harvesting operations.” 

It’s not surprising so much thought has gone into the base-building system in Dune: Awakening: Bylos says staking a claim, building a base, and making it your home is a big part of what makes survival games stand out from other genres. 

“I think the act of creating something that’s yours in the world is very different… I think Minecraft really nailed this,” Bylos says. “It’s a very deep psychological human thing that I planted a flag, and it’s mine. I’m the one who did this.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Previous post The Thaumaturge review
Next post Sponge made from a cheesy waste product can help recover the gold from your dumped circuit boards